Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Monday revised the schedule for holding auction for Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) spectrum (3G/4G) and delayed it till May 24, 2017 on the request of telecom operators. The PTA had earlier announced to hold auction for NGMS spectrum (3G/4G) on May 16, 2017.
Talking to Business Recorder, senior PTA officials revealed that all telecom operators, especially Ufone, have expressed extreme interest in the auction. However, operators sought more time on the plea that their board meetings are under way and they need approval for going to participate in the auction.
The PTA has revised the released time lines and dates in the information memorandum (IM) for the auction of spectrum in the 1800 MHz range. The IM sets out the rules, process, planned timetable and other background information to help prospective applicants decide if they want to participate in the NGMSA.
The consultation period is extended to April 27 against the initial timeline of April 19, notification of changes to the NGMSA rules and procedures (if any) revised to May 2 from April 24, information session for prospective bidders will be held on May 3 against the previous deadline of April 28, deadline for prospective applicants to submit application forms with pre-bid deposits delayed till May 17, PTA will announce qualified applicants on May 19, mock auction to be held on May 22 while auction will be held on May 24 against the initial date of May 16, 2017.
Base price for 2.10 MHz block in 1800MHz is set at USD 295 million. The NGMSA is for licences to use spectrum from internationally harmonised band in 1800 MHz band. The spectrum included in the NGMSA comprises 10 MHz of paired spectrum in the 1800 MHz band, however exact lot details will be finalised later as per the re-farming plan.
A licence for spectrum awarded in the NGMSA provides exclusive right for use of the frequencies assigned to that operator. The services permitted are governed by each specific licence. New spectrum will be for 14 telecom regions of Pakistan, excluding AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), while the base price for the spectrum is set at $295 million. New as well as current operators can bid for the spectrum.
The successful bidder will be given a licence to establish, maintain and operate a technology neutral network and offer licensed services in Pakistan, excluding AJ&K and GB, to consumers for meeting the roll out and quality of services (QoS) obligations.
The licensee will have to take all possible measures while installing its network to ensure that the out-of-band emissions are under the permissible limits defined by ETSI, ANSI, ITU, IEC standards. The licensee will have to take all possible measures while installing its network that ensures that there is no harmful interference to other licensees’ networks.
The assigned spectrum must not be used to provide fixed services or any services not explicitly authorised under the licence conditions. The licence shall be personal to the licensee and shall not be assigned, sub-licensed to, or held on trust for another person, without the prior written approval of PTA. The 15 years’ licence to use the NGMS spectrum will be awarded by means of a two-stage auction process.